Author(s)FORLIN, Christine Irene
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AbstractThis presentation will review some of the major global changes have occurred in the movement towards more democratic and equitable educational opportunities, that have resulted in a changed clientele in regular schools. It will focus specifically on teacher education for enabling this. While there is enormous diversity in the needs of students and in the way they respond to their teachers and there is a general acceptance that these needs have become more intense, demanding, and more difficult to address, placing considerable demands on teachers; there has been relatively little by way of radical changes to teacher preparation and professional development to facilitate this. Coupled with these changes has been a far reaching paradigm shift in the education of students with disabilities and other special needs. Over the past 40 years there has been an evolution from segregated to inclusive placements, which has resulted in complex and often difficult changes in the way schools operate and in the expectations for teachers. Inclusive education, while initially focusing on providing for students with disabilities in regular schools, now encompasses a much broader definition. Inclusion now refers to all children who may have disabilities or learning difficulties; have been historically marginalized from meaningful education; come from varied multi-cultural and multidiverse backgrounds; or who are at risk of not achieving to their potential. Policies promoting inclusion must, therefore, be supported by teachers who have the knowledge, skills and competencies and an appropriate positive attitude to sustain this paradigm shift.
Forlin, C. (2010, September). Sustaining inclusion by focussing on teacher education. Paper presented at the International Conference on Educational Research (ICER) 2010: Learning Communities for Sustainable Development, Khon Kaen University, Thailand.